After suffering through a particularly excruciating rendition of someone’s idea of what “crust” is, Lance is embarking on a soul-searching journey of self-righteous education, one embattled subgenre at a time. Watch as he attempts to describe an entire subgenre of heavy music using less than 300 words. There’s a bonus playlist of essential artists and releases after for your perusal. Also, feel free to tell Lance how wrong he is or suggest new genres in the comments below or on Twitter @LanceMarwood.

The Skinny: It all starts with punk, but crust takes the script, strips it down to a dirtier and more raw sound, making it uglier and far more ethically embroiled than its subgenre counterparts. You also gotta be smelly-as-shit, but that comes a little later. In the beginning, Discharge helped create both D-Beat (the other subgenre I’m trying to avoid mentioning much of here because it’s very similar) and crust, respectively, but by the mid-’80s, it was Amebix, Antisect, and Hellbastard who all defined the tenets of crust that would endure, with the latter giving the genre its name because of their 1986 release Ripper Crust.

The back patches you’re familiar with start with Doom, who managed to become the saints of the subgenre even though they were only really active from 1987 to 1990. Deviated Instinct started a little earlier and though they don’t get a lot of love these days they were very instrumental to crust punk, though more for the smell associated with crust. Around the same time was Disrupt, paving the way for American bands that came after, such as Nausea, putting the NY scene on the map.

During the ’90s the crust scene gained huge influence from bands like Aus Rotten and Nausea. Other influential bands include His Hero Is Gone, who still influence bands today, as well as Choking Victim and later Leftover Crack. Finding contemporary bands that are solely crust is more nuanced and difficult as it’s a subgenre that’s constantly evolving like the rest of the umbrella of punk music. With that said, the 2000’s were kind to crust, with no shortage of great bands like From Ashes Rise, Cop On Fire, and Wolfbrigade.

Mandatory Crust Listening Playlist:

01. Discharge – “Hear Nothing See Nothing Say Nothing” (1982, Clay Records)
02. Antisect – “In Darkness There Is No Choice” (1983, Spiderleg Records)
03. Anti Cimex – “R**ed Ass” (1983, A-Records)
04. Amebix – “Arise!” (1985, Alternative Tentacles)
05. Hellbastard – “Ripper Crust” (1986, Agipunk)
06. DOOM – “Police Bastard” (1989, Discarded Records)
07. Disrupt – “Unrest” (1994, Relapse)
08. His Hero Is Gone – “Fifteen Covnts Of Arson” (1997, Prank Records)
09. From Ashes Rise – “Discography” (2000, Feral Ward Records)
10. Wolfbrigade – “Damned” (2012, Southern Lord)

Check out the Nausea song “Cybergod”

Be sure to also check out:
A Ridiculously Short History of… GRINDCORE
A Ridiculously Short History of… SLUDGE
A Ridiculously Short History of… DOOM